Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible?

Therapeutic riding lessons are available to residents of Lanark and Renfrew Counties and the Ottawa Valley who are physically and/or developmentally disabled, or at risk for developmental delay.  New applicants will receive a home visit to discuss their needs and goals and to determine their ability to participate in the program.  Riders must be able to sit up on their own and must obtain a doctor's referral endorsing their participation.  It is recommended by the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (our regulating organization) that the maximum weight of riders be less than 180 lbs (81 kgs).

A special program was introduced in 2016 for ill/injured members of the Canadian Armed Forces active or retired.  Soldier Ride,  is not a therapy session - it is a relatively intense one-on-one recreational horseback riding lesson;  but, we are a therapeutic program so we teach lessons in a safe, non-judgmental & private area.   


Is there an age restriction?

Riders are aged 3 to over 60.  The volunteers range in age from 16 to over 70 years of age.


How are lessons taught?

Depending upon the age and ability of the rider, lessons are taught either on a one-on-one basis or in a group lesson.  Lessons are designed specifically for each person and vary in length from 20 minutes to one hour. There is an opportunity to learn how to care for and groom horses, as well as learn basic riding skills. For persons with physical disabilities, the emphasis is on exercises and movement that will increase balance, coordination and muscle control while decreasing spasticity. Riders with developmental delays are involved in skill development that will help their memory, sequencing, attention span and concentration. A fun atmosphere with games and races helps to encourage participation, socialization and communication.


Who teaches the lessons?

Two Instructors certified by the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) direct and lead the lessons with the help of CanTRA certified Assistant Instructors and volunteers.


What do the volunteers do?

An energetic team of more than 100 volunteers assists with lessons and fundraising. Prior to and after the lessons they help with grooming and tacking of the horses and set-up and tear-down of the lesson area. During the lessons volunteers lead the horses and, depending upon the disability of the rider, one or two walk beside to ensure the rider is secure in the saddle.  Training clinics are provided, and no experience is necessary.


Where are the lessons taught?

Lessons are offered at two locations in Lanark County: Ashland Farm on the Derry Road in Beckwith Twp. and Corner Stone  Stables on Stone Road East in Port Elmsley. Go to the Contact page for directions to these locations.


When are the lessons offered?

The Spring session runs during May and June in the morning or afternoon, the Summer session runs in the mornings or late afternoon in July and August and the Fall session runs in September and October in the morning or afternoon. 


How much does it cost?

The cost for each riding session – Spring, Summer or Fall – is $350. Payment is due two weeks prior to the beginning of each session in order to ensure a place for the rider.  The lesson fees are eligible for payment from the Family Relief Program.  Please contact your caseworker for further information.


How is the Riding Program funded?

The Therapeutic Riding Program does not receive on-going government support. Funds to run the program are raised through lesson fees, support from the community, grants and various fundraising events.  Donations of $20 and over will receive a charitable tax receipt. 


What about referrals?

Referrals and service inquiries are welcome from any individual or group. For more information, or to make a referral, call: 613-257-7121 ext. 3238.